Leading NGOs Make Emergency Appeal as Doha Talks are on the Brink of Disaster

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Oxfam International
Sunita Bose on +974 5504 6084, sunita.bose@oxfaminternational.org

Leading NGOs Make Emergency Appeal as Doha Talks are on the Brink of Disaster

DOHA, QATAR - Today, as the UN climate talks entered their final hours, six of the largest environmental and development organizations in the world issued an emergency call to all governments about the conclusions of the Doha climate talks.

ActionAid, Christian Aid, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, Oxfam and WWF issued a statement saying the Doha talks were on the brink of disaster and that rich governments had 24 hours to urgently make a deal that reflects the scale of planetary emergency facing humanity.  This deal must include scaled up public climate finance from 2013, deep emissions cuts and a mechanism to address loss and damage.

The NGOs were joined by Yeb Sano, Commissioner for Climate Change of the Philippines; Emmanuel Dlamnini, Chair of the African Group of Negotiatiors; and Pa Ousman, Chair of the Least Developed Countries Group.  

The statement was released following an open-letter to negotiators and ministers that was issued by social movements from across the developing world, and which the organizations supported and distributed at the press conference.

"Failure is locking in inaction for the next decade. The millions of people already facing floods and famines cannot accept failure. The people of Africa can't accept failure and neither can the people of Europe. We call on all governments to reject an 'agreement' for agreements sake, if it does nothing to stop the planetary emergency,” Asad Rehman, spokesperson for Friends of the Earth International, said.

"How many more glaring reminders, how many more lost lives, how much more suffering is it going to take for rich countries to accept that this is a planetary emergency for the world’s poorest people. The Doha talks are in crisis over climate finance, as in 25 days developing countries do not know how they will be supported to adapt to climate change. Rich countries now have 24 hours to make a collective commitment to increase public climate finance from next year to at least $US60billion by 2015," Celine Charveriat, Director of Advocacy and Campaigns for Oxfam International  said.

"People are dying because of climate change. People are losing their homes, their livelihoods, and their source of food. It is saddening to see rich country negotiators actively blocking progress in order to maintain the profits of their coal, oil and forestry industries. A newly elected Barack Obama has not changed the approach of US negotiators. Europe too is now intransigent, and is losing its progressive image on climate. Politicians have a simple task in Doha, and today civil society spelled out exactly what is required of them. If they fail, it would be an historic act of irresponsibility, for which we would ensure they face accountability. It is not too late. We say to politicians here in Doha, that we are watching, and the world will not forget", Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director, Greenpeace International, said.

"Developed countries are pretending that loss and damage isn't a real problem, and that we don't need an international mechanism to address it. Tell that to the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Bopha, and to the people who had no role in creating the climate crisis but are suffering the most from its effects.  It's those people who have the most to lose from a bad outcome here in Doha," Harjeet Singh, International Coordinator for Disaster Risk Reducation and Climate Adaptation at ActionAid International, said.

 "The reality is that this year, people in rich and poor countries experienced the full force of climate change. Extreme heat waves, drought and storms hit people’s livelihoods, lives and the environment on which they depend.  And just this week, people in the Philippines have lost homes and lives due to severe weather conditions. The gap between this reality and the political commitment to address climate change is just too large. This is being reflected in the shamefully weak deal being negotiated in Doha. WWF, in solidarity with social movements and other parts of civil society, rejects the minimalist deal that is emerging. Countries are going to walk out of here claiming this was a success. As things stand, it clearly won’t be," Samantha Smith, Leader of the Global Climate and Energy Initaitve at WWF, said.

'The people who have imprinted the lightest carbon footprint on this world are the ones suffering the first and the worst. Until leaders respond to the clear alarm bells that are ringing with greater volume and urgency than ever, we will not have a planet safe for us or for future generations. We have spent years working to ensure we have effective climate laws shaped by what science requires, not just what politicians are willing to offer. Rich countries need to do the heavy lifting making the needed cuts in carbon emissions and provide finance to those affected by climate change,” Mohamed Adow, senior climate change adviser at Christian Aid, said.

Notes to Editors

Download a copy of the statement.

Downnload a copy of the letter.

A webcast of the conference is available here: http://unfccc4.meta-fusion.com/kongresse/cop18/templ/ovw_live.php?id_kongressmain=231

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Oxfam International is a confederation of 13 like-minded organizations working together and with partners and allies around the world to bring about lasting change. Oxfam works directly with communities and that seeks to influence the powerful to ensure that poor people can improve their lives and livelihoods and have a say in decisions that affect them.

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